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Mining of deposits of blue asbestos found in the Wittenoom and Yampire Gorges began in 1933 and continued until 1966.  Asbestos occurs in thin bands of iron-formations.  The discovery of rich seams of blue asbestos in Wittenoom Gorge led to the establishment of an asbestos mine deep in the gorge, with the town of Wittenoom at its mouth. 
The blue asbestos mined there was much more dangerous than white asbestos, small quantities of which were also mined in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

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